Published on Sunday, 16 March 2014 17:28
Album title: Antiserum
Release date: 21 February 2014
01. Apocalyptic Vision
02. Until The End
04. If You Believe
05. Inside Your Eyes
06. Kommt Näher
07. Irony Of Fate
09. Back From The Dead
"And now it's time to unleash our powers again with the virus, the worm, the parricide, with the antiserum, welcome Crematory", are the introductory words that pushes us into the new opus from most popular German gothic metal band ever - Crematory. Antiserum is a very strong comeback after four years ago released album Infinity. Crematory remains loyal to their unique interpretation of gothic metal, but this time surprises a lot, not in a negative way, ok, some older fans could even see it that way, thus there was a risk taken. Like on their 2004 album Revolution the band experiments with electronic sounds a lot, actually for the basis they took EBM elements on which they worked together with Elmar Schmidt of Hamburg EBM act Centhron. This doesn't ruin the sound of Antiserum, surprisingly it makes it more dynamic, even harsher, stronger and if since Revolution in 2004 we often heard some of those elements in their songs, here the thing is upgraded till perfection and sometimes you don't know if you should dance or headbang like mad.
As the somehow industrial/ambient intro finishes, the same melody continues and starts the first proper track "Until The End", where before mentioned electronic elements are overwhelmed with the typical Crematory gothic metal sound, catchy melodies, combination of Crematory's trademark vocal duets between harsh and clean vocals, where I should mention that Felix Stass's deep growling voice has not lost its power and charm in all those years and Matthias Hechler's clean vocals have matured very much since we heard him for the first time on in 1999 released album Act Seven, just listen to "If You Believe" or satisfactory "Inside Your Eyes" and you'll get my point. On the new album you won't get any guitar solos, instead of that guitar lines, together with addictive electronic grounding, often keep the melody going on and so often riffs are becoming very aggressive, not to mention very powerful and technical, often really crushing drum beats that keep the dynamics on the album flowing further. Synth textures don't disappoint even, like ever before in Crematory's case it builds an astonishing gothic atmosphere so the sound is very dense and dark.
Further on in quite simple EBM/industrial/metal tracks like bonebreakers, with some similaraties to Rammstein, "Kommt Näher" or "Virus", the two with German lyrics, probably meant for German audience, where EBM scene blossoms like nowhere else, band doesn't really reach the high standards of the rest of the album, but instead of that scatters with an immense dose of energetic, yet danceable electro/industrial driven rough metal. Then the experiment of this so called EBM gothic metal reaches it's high point on quite extraordinary thunderous "Back From The Dead", but the best track in my opinion is marvelous and catchy album titled "Antiserum", with one of the greatest choruses the band ever did, not to mention the whole atmosphere and huge power of this one, yet with a beautiful ending which closes this album.
Antiserum is after all a great comeback for Crematory and certainly the band must be credited for their very bold approach, not only that they kept all the best elements from the past, they've implemented them with this EBM venture which brings an exciting groove to every track up here. Not to mention one hell of an impeccable production that in my opinion couldn't be better. It's a homogenous and very appealing album that must be heard several times before it gets a proper effect on the listener, beign positive or I believe in many cases also negative as far as I know the majority of metal audience of today. I certainly enjoyed in Antiserum and I hope to get a possibility to see them live, as in that case those tracks can get ever more powerful impact on the spectator. Antiserum is after all a metal album by all means, but it has a twist that works in their favour and certainly it's good to see the band not repeating itself.
Review written by: T.V.